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 Atmosphere report

Deportivo de la Coruna - Celta de Vigo (2-2)
La Liga (Spanish First Division), 30 September 2001
Stadium : Riazor (La Coruna)
Attendance : 34000

This is my report (not exactly the day after.... ;) ) of my experience of the Depor-Celta match, or the "Derby Gallego".

Being half Spanish, and Gallego with a father that likes Celta, I found this to be an experience I'd never forget since it is the ultimate match in Galicia.

The game kicked off on a Sunday night, absoloutly jam packed in every direction for about 3 miles. Since I was staying with my relatives in Compostela which is conveniently in between Coruna and Vigo, we drove in about 2 hours before the game to see absolute traffic chaos since the game was on PayPerView and everyone wanted to see the game in the bars.

Around the stadium, it was a normal sound of noise that you would expect with a crowd that large, nothing extra vocal. That was until the bus of 'Celtarras', the Hooligans of Celta pulled up. There were around 10 buses in total, around 3 for Celtarras. A lot of whistling, booing and names were beeing thrown out but no violence had erupted. The police have been through this too many times to let anything stupid happen, which I respect for.

The game started with a great Tifo from Riazor Blues, the ultras of Deportivo. A lot of rolls, flares and a huge blue/white banner came out. The stadium there is breathtaking at night with excellent acoustics, so if you were 3 km away from the stadium you could hear them singing. Celtarras, to the surprise of myself and plenty others, were in EXTREMELY fine voice, with alot of flags and scarves to show their tifo before the match. Personally, I never found Celtarras to be that crazy, or special. This game though, from the vocal-tifo, and especially the celebration of the first goal (to get that on video would be a keeper), they showed they are truly hardcore with a lot of passion for their club.

Riazor Blues did not dissapoint either, but rather met expectations since they have proven time and time again that they are a great group. They made an excellent avalanche on the first goal, were almost 100 people ran down to the front of the section. The general public was very good, nothing crazy, but very good. I must say though, that if I had been a bit closer to the middle or south goal of the Riazor Blues(I had been sitting very,very close to the Celta section), I maybe would have had a different opinion.

The game ended 2-2. Outside the stadium, there were incidents with Celtarras. They had been held back by police that nearly cost them a bus ride home. Some were more stupid than others... smashing a medical center in the stadium, with a huge bill to pay for which angered the president of Deportivo a lot. Riazor Blues, with reports coming out the next day, claimed they were going to fight Celtarras but the police held them in too long.

Anyhow, that's my experience.

Report added : 07 March 2004
Report by : Ben Perez
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